I don’t even have to say anymore. Forever tarnished that number is.
Day 45, Monday, April 27, 2020: And here we go again. Another week, another seven days. I need to come up with some money-making ideas (I got there because my mind defaulted to: ‘another day, another dollar’ in case you were wondering). That, plus, I just need to. That’s how the freelance market works 🙂
I am SO happy this morning to see the rt.live site showing MOST states are in the green – below 1 as a rate (pass it on to one more person for every person currently infected) – so the infection rate will drop. I know we have been getting a handle on things in Canada – and it’s all worrisome, but I have been most worried about the USA. Hopefully, they keep their eye on the second wave. GREEN is good.
This really is reassuring to me – and it made my day a lot happier. Even if it’s from yesterday (they compile as they get info and list the update times). Just to think that the country faring the worst in the entire world, with the most infections and most deaths has turned a corner – has brightened my world from inside my head all day. Ojala, I’m chanting they maintain it. I’d like to see this chart for places in Europe. The RT chart, by the way, was created by the founders of Instagram. Free. You can read about it at Vox. This is the kind of world we need.
I so hope this has been everyone’s wakeup call. Some countries, I’m sure, have better hearing than others. Nobody can forget the potential second wave – either soon, from opening up too early or in the fall when the weather cools down (if indeed we get a seasonal break, even that’s not a given with this new virus). We *will* get a handle on it. Everything’s gonna be alright, according to little RJ Clark (see last week’s post for video or click here).
Mexico is supposed to be in the peak (meaning, starting to be contagious everywhere) — I would think peak meant the top of the mountain but apparently it just means the highest time (may be 2 weeks) of infection.
So we are staying put. No worries on that front. Everybody is out of beer. I still have some. Enough I think. I *can* temper it with wine (sangria or something) if I really want to. I haven’t been drinking a lot. In fact, I just gave five beer to our neighbour who is out. The decided (and it’s probably true) that beer is not an essential service so closed all the factories until May 30. I think it’s a good idea, actually. First, they said you can’t open, then we all panicked, then they said okay you can open but they closed them again. Somewhere in there, I stocked up a bit.
And my friend in San Miguel sent me a bottle of champagne. Seriously. She felt flush and wanted to thank me for being around. It was very sweet. That’s a good two-days worth of drinking for me. And I’ve got a great Moet stopper that keeps it fresh. And I’d actually rather a glass of champagne (not prosecco, but champagne) than beer if it came right down to it. Ah, bet you didn’t know that about me 🙂
Another day comes to a close. We had chow mein for dinner, made from homegrown bean sprouts, which were mung (moong) beans three days ago. I never thought I’d say this but the bean sprouts tasted absolutely incredible. Like no bean sprout I’ve ever tasted. Farm to table makes a huge difference. If you’ve got a yard, think about growing some vegetables this year. Or if not, grow some bean sprouts, some mushrooms – some tomatoes in a pot on your deck or patio. Container garden. Even just herbs for your counter – get some seeds online. Think about it. I need to plant my basil next. Mañana, folks.
Day 46: The rate of transmission in the US is still down according to the RT site. Still eight states in the red, above a rate of 1:1 but those in the green (below 1) are getting lower. It’s only two days worth but it has me a little hopeful. It’s updated every night around midnight.Things do seem to be calming down a bit – around the world, actually. Time will tell. But for now, onward.
I realize that having a schedule has really helped us. This is starting to feel like our life. There are only rare times in my life that it has felt like this and it’s kind of amusing that I recognize it by a certain yardstick. When things are quiet enough and calmed down enough for some TV after dinner to be desirable, and one actually watches TV – I guess that’s when it feels like a normal life to me (as opposed to being on the computer or with my head in books at night). Not sure why that is. I know when my head is full, I can’t watch TV because I can’t concentrate on it. It’s always full enough that I don’t see commercials, though.
What brought up this thought? I actually watched TV last night, for one episode of the new Season 2 of After Life with Ricky Gervais. Well, starring, written and directed by Ricky Gervais so not really ‘with’ I suppose.
Have you seen it? It’s British, of course, and on Netflix. Normally I don’t cotton much to British TV and British humour doesn’t normally do much for me but he’s funny. I suppose it’s the topic, too – given my double Scorpio (moon, rising) status. His wife dies and he has a hard time getting over it. It’s very well done. A bit impertinent, but it’s Ricky Gervais … what would one expect? The other one, Season 2 coming May 8, is Dead to Me. Another double Scorpio favourite. A quite bizarre premise – but it works. Check it out, too – also on Netflix.
Ok, both walks done and it’s not quite 9 am. I must say, the last two days – four walks with PJ, two each morning – the dog has been much calmer and much more fun to walk. I’m thinking it’s because my stress level went down tremendously when I started to see a bit of a turn in the pandemic, particularly in the US. They pick up on our emotions, I know but the change yesterday was dramatic. It must have been so in moi, aussi (o yo, tambien).
Our friend’s team, the one who is the zoonotic infectious disease researcher, has a potential vaccine going into clinical trials at the Mayo Clinic (three locations) in a few weeks. Fingers crossed. He really has spent his entire life dedicated to this field and I respect his ability and knowledge a great deal. Ojala and GodSpeed and all that.
Another day done, almost. No photos but BLT English muffins for lunch and dinner. With Berry Croissant Bread Pudding for dessert. No photos either. But I do have a photo of my party confetti that I ordered from China long before the pandemic. I think they’ll be waiting for a while. I have a party tub – will put them with all the party stuff. Kinda sad but I’m sure they’ll get used. I also have more surprise balls on the way (for dinner party favours).
There is big booming thunder, but so far only a sprinkle of rain. Waiting on the rains. Everything will get green and start growing like weeds.
No big insights today. The days do go on. I’m going to clean out my dresser next, I think. I have a lot of what I would call ‘house clothes’ especially now. Geez, it just occurs to me that I could spend some of this time and iron my white linen shirts. Not. But I wish someone would.
Day 47: The US seems to be holding for now to the recent rate of transmission – only eight states in the red (still). And lowering slightly, I think. We really are looking at June or later – actually the experts recommended when each state should open again and it goes all the way into July. Here’s the list. It’s only one model, but I wish they would err on the side of caution. They are getting a handle on it, but I fear they are going to blow it by opening up again prematurely.
9 am news on the radio, although that’s 7 am news as I’m listening to Jack 96.9 from Vancouver. I bounce around BC stations. Keeps me local. Both dog walks done, three chicken milanesas, which were in a pack of four that I thawed yesterday, have been cooked for either sandwiches, bowls or even peanut sauce and noodles and something green. Not sure what. Anyway, it may be today and tomorrow’s beginning of dinner so that’s done. I could handle bowls tonight. I’ll see what we have to put in them.
Other than that, I’ve done pretty much FA. I did make the tumeric rice for the dog food and mixed it with the chicken, flax seed, hemp hearts and stock. And swept the bar and kitchen. And emptied the sink of leftover dishes. Ok, I guess I did stuff. Just not computer stuff (although I did my news 5 am – 7 am). Now what? I missed PADI yesterday. I better go do at least one lesson now. The days are getting too normal. I guess that’s denial (I don’t want this to be normal). Yet this schedule and responsibilities (dogs, courses, edits, food) is also what keeps us sane and grounded during this time.
For us, we are very blessed to have a great place to hide out and to have spent a lot of our lives working from home so we had a head start on the potential behaviour issues. And this is going to be normal for a while. It’s very similar to our regular normal with a couple of very large exceptions. Normally, we have a lot of company. So we are quite social, but inside our own walls. That admission brings the term ‘control freaks’ to mind but I’m not going there.
It’s as much that we love to entertain and always have homes built for entertaining. Not everyone does. And not everyone cooks like we do. And I don’t like to go out in Mexico much, for reasons you are familiar with. But we haven’t had any company since very early March, when our last casita guest went to the beach. And we closed it all down shortly thereafter. The other thing is going back up north. FM. I should have been back up twice already this year but put the first one off because of the house sale (the one that tanked when the virus hit and the markets tanked). I have no idea when I am going to get up north again. That’s very disconcerting. To me, anyway. And then there’s La Paz.
The big difference in our lives is skidding to a halt on several large (even ‘defining moment’) initiatives that were well under way. The only time we had to deal with anything like that was 9/11 and with the exception of the first couple of days, it wasn’t as constant shock. It was huge shock, then recovery (both emotional and economic). The ripples lasted several months, and then with added security, we seemed to go back to the air. I don’t think I flew until the following August (I was working full time then) – I may have – in any event after a relatively short time – we were okay with the new normal and went on with our lives. It really only impacted some economies on a temporary basis – and air travel.
This will impact air travel. Everyone will need a mask. We’re used to it, we have seen lots of bike couriers with masks in Toronto, Vancouver and Mexico City.
Day 48: One more until seven weeks. Doesn’t seem like that long in retrospect and that in itself makes the next seven easier to look at. We’re pretty reconciled to living a lot differently until the vaccine. Masks, social distancing. Small groups possibly at some point. All in masks. Until we’re vaccinated. Or there is a simple oral treatment. And every day, there is progress. Think of the smartest people in the world. I’m serious. That’s who these scientists are. Our friend was lured out of university in Berlin – lured by massive research dollars to work with. Not massive amounts of money for him – that’s not how it works in research (or how it is supposed to work). But the promise of labs, equipment, controlled trials and the time and freedom to research, research, research. That’s what these guys and gals do and that’s what drives them, what is important to them. Research. Cures. Vaccines. Discovery. Without these people (and others, like health care workers, delivery workers, food services) – we’d all be fucked. So stop and say thank you.
The rate of transmission is only above 1 for seven states this morning, one moved into the green (but sorry, I didn’t notice which one). All good and steady as she goes, I’d say. Some other numbers may be looking less hopeful in some states (new cases, new deaths), but believe me, this is the metric that matters in the long run.
First dog walk done. I finished a very long PADI lesson yesterday and have to do the quiz on that part this morning. They require a 75% score for a pass. Gulp. I’ll do it. I also vacuumed with my handy new cordless stick vac. It’s very easier. A lot easier than sweeping or hauling out the big industrial one. I can’t believe I’m excited about a vacuum. Never happened before in my life.
Ok, did my Padi test (one of 10 or so), it wasn’t hard, I passed with 100%. Most of the questions were easy, but a few required math and/or some extra thought. Also, I have section one (probably 25%) of DogStar back with 1st round edits so going to breeze through that. CW is good – so while there are specific smaller things i need to deal with, he’s done the heavy lifting.
Day 49: Seven weeks! And I bet seven more. At least five. Our lockdown in Mexico is until May 30. I don’t see travel until the fall. If. Hopefully August, but probably September (and will depend on the condo close). I sure hope that doesn’t go south. I think it’s doubtful we’ll have a house sale closed by then but we’ll see. Nothing happening right now, that’s for sure.
The transmission factor in the US is still creeping downward, now only five states are in the red, the rest are thankfully below the 1:1 danger transmission rate (0.8, 0.6 etc, but below 1 , it will still be slow). My Canadian friends probably wonder why I look at the US rate so much. Aside from my American friends, it’s because it’s the country in the most trouble right now and people are dying and it upsets me. AND it’s right next door to Canada and Mexico. Both countries are in massive trade arrangements with the US. When the elephant rolls over at night, we get crushed. That’s why. And that’s why I’ll say what I want about trump and the corrupt American capitalist system that’s systematically taking their country down. Along with some of ours, undoubtedly. Enough, I came over here to calm down from the news, LOL.
I’ve resigned myself to not showing the house until June. We’ve got to spruce it up a bit. I need some more Boston ferns for the bathroom (they died, surprise surprise). I’ve got a lovely asparagus fern, huge actually and I may be able to fit it in on top of the industrial shelving with towels and body wash. We’ll see.
Almost dinner time, lots of housework on Fridays, washed the main floors but not the terrace, polished all the glass tables and the big wood river table and vacuumed everywhere with my new cordless. Egads. As I said to CW – ewww, this is not a job I would want (housekeeper or housewife). His back brace comes off in three weeks, which is really exciting. I’m sure you saw where that thought came from …
Some days are better than others. Today was okay but kind of boring (well, housework …). There was one moment when I just wanted to go have an afternoon nap and cry a bit but I didn’t. No really good news but no bad news. Some realism – it will take a long time to get a vaccine administered, at least 18 months. But with masks and social distancing, some things we used to do will be possible in the meantime. I do miss my friends and family and it hurts that I can’t go back to Vancouver and the Island right now.
And today was the first day our investment income paid the new ‘coronavirus rate’ – which is prudent, understandable and it’s only a holdback and possibly will come back to us in time to pay our 2020 income tax. But it’s less cash every month. Thank God we still have pensions, as small as they are. We won’t be in trouble for living day to day and do have some savings in TFSAs and half of it sits in cash. But geez, Louise. How long will I have to act like I’m a Cuernavaca housewife? Housebound housewife. Not that there is anything to do in Cuernavaca except go to the airport – but I’m keen to do that.
Day 50: And counting. Holy moly. When will this be over? The 12th of never, and that’s a long, long time. Well, probably before then. But sheesh. It’s a time when people have time to think, that’s for sure. I wonder what everyone thinks about. I think about the future but not in a bad way, in a planning way, in a ‘throwing it forward’ way, not in a longing way so much (at least not yet). I think about old friends, I think about old former-friends of which I have a few, and find I have some time to ponder them.
The US, unfortunately, is now back up to eight states with a transmission rate of 1+. Not good, going in the wrong direction. Stay home. Social distancing works.
Almost 7:30, time for our first walk. PJ loves it so much – his favourite walk I think. Ok, it was a good one. Next one in an hour or so. Radio on, thinking about whether to dive into PADI (haha, no pun intended) or DogStar. Not that there is much for me to do on DogStar this round. I think I’ll end up doing more heavy lifting on the design and production end on this round of updates.
Here’s a story everyone should read (oh, look, there’s a squirrel) from The Intelligencer about pandemics and the environment. Annoyed me only at the end when he seems to assume the “we” he speaks of is the only country in the world but other than that, good story.
Ok, the next PADI lesson is put to bed. I know this will take me a month at the rate I’m going but hey, I have time. Now on to a bit of DogStar and then my Saturday morning will be done. It rained last night, by the way, just poured. The gardens are so happy today. And it smells so fresh. Ha, the winds tore apart our shade sail though, LOL. But it was getting pretty brittle anyway, the UV rays here are horrific.
And time to start looking for some art for this post. It’s hard to take photos when you never go anywhere, don’t you think? I did take some in the garden, I may end up peppering the post with flowers. By now you’ll know.
Day 51, Sunday, May 3, 2020: And publishing day to boot. Schedules help. That’s one thing I’ve learned. If you don’t have one, make one (you can still be flex). Today I got up at 4:30, Rosie woke me up early. Normally, it would be 5:00 – 5:15 ish. I like to have a couple of hours before I go on the first dog walk, which is basically about half an hour after sunrise. I answer emails, whatsapps and messenger messages, check the news, check facebook and I’m usually ready to shower or get dressed by then (I’m only showering every couple of days but I’m not exerting myself much). You think I would swim. The water is in the 90s (33-34ish) these days but I don’t.
I stopped when it cooled down considerably last year after a series of misteps. That, plus CW had spots on his skin that he had to have lasered off, so then he only swam after the sun went past the yardarm, usually after 5pm. That’s too late for me (we used to swim together around 2pm). And I got out of the habit. And the house is for sale, and I thought it would sell, so I didn’t really care if we had a pool or not (I guess I let go of the house too early LOL). Should I swim again? I suppose it’s good exercise but I’m also doing about 4km a day of walking. Not a lot I guess.
Sure, I’ll miss it when it’s gone. There will be times when I will wish I had this pool back, I’m sure. But I have been in it hundreds of times. My favourite of all time was a night swim two Independence days ago when our friends from Mexico (city) were here. The air was perfect, the water was perfect, the sky was full of stars. That was a great day. And night.
I was thinking about it. I like swimming because it’s a place where everything disappears. All my obligations, all the schemes that were either brewing or activated or a combination thereof. Especially with long laps, the mind wanders. I suppose that’s always been a big draw for me.
Right now, my whole life is like that, though. No client-driven work projects, no travel for business or pleasure, no Airstream renovation (well, delayed), no house projects other than mopping these effing floors and cleaning all the glass every Friday, no dinner parties or no get-togethers for Crimes Against Humanity games with friends. A lot of stuff *is* packed but I can get my drawers all cleaned out now. Can I pack winter clothes and sweaters safely? I guess as long as they’re marked well, in case not. Oy.
I do have PADI and DogStar. But today’s Sunday so I wasn’t going to do a PADI lesson. But maybe I should. It’s 8:35 am and I’m out of things to do. Okay, I *did* bake a cake last night and was planning to ice it today. It’s only a two-layer for practice. The four-layer comes later. I think I need fondant for the four-layer. But I digress. I dislike the taste of what they call ‘American’ (their term, not mine) Buttercream. FFS. It’s just 2:1 icing sugar to butter. No wonder it tastes so foul. So then there is Italian Buttercream (double boiler, and the next best) and then Swiss Buttercream (touted as the best but requires pouring specific-temperature boiling sugar water into your egg whites as you beat them). I think I’ll try Italian and work my way up to Swiss.
Thankfully, this will be later, after publication, so if it fails like the last one – by next week you won’t remember it, hehe. Although it is an actual photo opp. Maybe it will be included next week, even if it’s a fail.
Shall I close this off now? It’s only 9 am, but do I have anything more that will be at all interesting to say today? I ragged really badly on a fucking Republican troll this morning on a friend’s page – lives in Cabo, drives a Jaguar, rich gringo, the type that deserves to get hit over the head with a rock – he posted a meme about how liberals, if they think everyone should be treated equally, might like it better in jail where everyone is equal (which isn’t true – the 1% are treated differently there, too). But … I just went back and deleted it and blocked him instead. I don’t need to fight with these flaming idiots. That will be my goal this week. If it’s clearly a rabid right comment with no basis in reality, just block them. If it’s a fact that needs correcting, correct it with sources. What more can I do? Cabo really is crawling with them. La Paz, thankfully, is not. Although they exist. Everywhere.
Now it’s only seven states (yesterday was eight) above the 1 to 1 transmission rate, (1 and higher meaning cases are increasing). So back a bit. I guess a few forward, a few back. That’s how it’s going to go. Some states will have to close their borders if they want to beat this. Some (thinking Cascadia) could join together to do this if their rates of transmission are similar and their plan going forward is joint.
There is no national plan, no national consensus. This is going to be horrible to watch. Hopefully, it eases over the summer, a treatment is discovered (elsewhere I hope, but shared willingly with the US) and they dodge another bullet before the 2nd wave in the fall. Ojala. They are failing superbly on a national level but some states are faring very well.
It *looks* like Italy and Spain (and maybe even the UK and France) are coming out of it now. Long time for those countries. New Zealand is nothing short of incredibly awesome. There is hope, in many places. But you still need to stay home and avoid non-essential travel. Air Canada predicts international travel won’t return on a meaningful level until December 2021. Canada, on the whole, is doing well but Ontario and Quebec still have their challenges. Ontario may be flattening now. I was mortified to read that 79% of all Covid-19 deaths in Canada have been in senior care homes. Petri dishes. Just terrible. There’s bound to be a Royal Commission established to get to the bottom of the care home situation. It’s tragic, it really is.
While trump and Republicans were touting the economy as being more valuable than the lives of seniors and grandparents – and you know a few were saying that, particularly one from Texas who said he would be willing to die to ensure the economy survived for his grandchildren – while this was being parroted by Republicans, Trudeau was saying something different. He was saying that the seniors, and the people in care homes are the people who built this country and we will always protect them. Stark difference, JHC, no?
Ok, enough, I’m out of here. Not sure what I’ll do then, but probably PADI for a bit. Yeah, yeah, it’s Sunday but how long can I look at the view? I may go clean out my drawers when PJ comes back, he usually sleeps for an hour or two when he’s been out for his walk with his buddies. I think I should leave you with a video of his pack that he walks and trains with. That’s him second from the left and the far left is his best friend, Maxi.
Until next week, stay safe, stay informed and stay kind. And feel free to email me. I have nothing but time to answer.